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RPO CARNEVALE kicks off 2016/17 season

Festive opening gala supports artistic & educational programs
Wednesday, September 14 event previews following evening’s opening

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announces an unforgettable bella notte to kick off its 2016/17 season. RPO CARNEVALE, a festive Venetian gala and fundraiser, will take place Wednesday, September 14 at 6 p.m. at The Wintergarden at One Bausch and Lomb Place.

The Orchestra’s Philharmonics Series opens the following evening, Thursday, September 15 at 7:30 p.m., and repeats Saturday, September 17 at 8 p.m., with Stare Conducts Beethoven 7 + Nakamatsu Returns in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The RPO Pops Series opens with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik on Friday and Saturday, September 30 and October 1 – both at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall –with Gershwin Favorites. Van Cliburn winner and Rochester favorite, Jon Nakamatsu, is a special guest artist for both series’ openers.

With a nod to the upcoming season woven throughout the evening, RPO CARNEVALE will begin with cocktails and carnevale entertainers, including Flower City Vaudeville, a henna artist, dancers from Rochester City Ballet, a caricaturist and more. Rochester’s Airigami will add décor elements, and guests are encouraged to wear masks and other festival finery. An elegant dinner will follow, with live musical accompaniment by acclaimed Eastman School of Music faculty member, guitarist Bob Sneider. The evening’s highlight will be an exclusive performance by world-renowned pianist Jon Nakamatsu and RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde (The Caroline W. Gannett & Clayla Ward Chair). Festivities will also include an auction of private meals with some very special RPO hosts: Music Director Ward Stare, Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement Michael Butterman, Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman, and Concertmaster Juliana Athayde and husband, Principal Oboe Erik Behr (The Dr. Jacques M. Lipson Chair). The evening will end on a sweet note with fine chocolates from Wegmans. Find out more details here: Click here to view the invitation.

Tickets to this fundraiser to support the RPO’s artistic and educational programming are $300 per person, and are available online at or by phone at (585) 454-2100.

Event sponsorships are also available at $5,000, and include a table of 10, recognition on gala signage, a half-page gala program ad, and six prime concert tickets for the following evening’s concert. If interested, please contact or (585) 399-3641. Current RPO CARNEVALE sponsors are: Blitman & King and Jules L. Smith, Dawn & Jacques Lipson, Rochester Midland Corporation, The E.P. & R.U. Wilson Foundation, and Wegmans.

Tickets to any of the 2016/17 RPO season concerts are available online at, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or in person at the RPO’s new Patron Services Center (108 East Avenue) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations. A complete concert listing is here:

The 2016/17 Season is presented by Dawn & Jacques Lipson, with The Philharmonics Series sponsored by M&T Bank, the RPO Pops Series sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Wegmans, and Gershwin Favorites on Sept. 30 sponsored by St. John’s.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 22-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first endowed position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches more than 12,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.

Media please note: High-resolution images and a complete listing of 2016/17 concerts are available at, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged.